Gun Control in Canada

Gun Control in Canada

Length: 2495 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Part I:Introduction

The issue of gun control and violence, both in Canada and the United States,
is one that simply will not go away. If history is to be any guide, no matter
what the resolution to the gun control debate is, it is probable that the
arguments pro and con will be much the same as they always have been. In 1977,
legislation was passed by the Canadian Parliament regulating long guns for the
first time, restructuring the availability of firearms, and increasing a variety
of penalties . Canadian firearms law is primarily federal, and "therfore
national in scope, while the bulk of the firearms regulation in the United
States is at the state level; attempts to introduce stricter leglislation at the
federal level are often defeated".
The importance of this issue is that not all North Americans are necessarily
supportive of strict gun control as being a feasible alternative to controlling
urban violence. There are concerns with the opponents of gun control, that the
professional criminal who wants a gun can obtain one, and leaves the average
law-abiding citizen helpless in defending themselves against the perils of urban
life . Is it our right to bear arms as North Americans ? Or is it privilege? And
what are the benefits of having strict gun control laws? Through the analysis of
the writings and reports of academics and experts of gun control and urban
violence, it will be possible to examine the issues and theories of the social
impact of this issue.

Part II: Review of the Literature A) Summary

In a paper which looked at gun control and firearms violence in North America,
Robert J. Mundt, of the University of North Carolina, points out that "Crime in
America is popularly perceived [in Canada] as something to be expected in a
society which has less respect for the rule of law than does Canadian
society..."
In 1977, the Canadian government took the initiative to legislate stricter gun
control. Among the provisions legislated by the Canadian government was a
"Firearms Acquisition Certificate" for the purchase of any firearm, and
strengthened the "registration requirements for handguns and other restricted
weapons..." .
The purpose of the 1977 leglislation was to reduce the availability of
firearms, on the assumption that there is a "positive relationship between
availability and use". In Robert J. Mundt's study, when compared with the United
States, trends in Canada over the past ten years in various types of violent
crime, suicide, and accidental death show no dramatic results, "and few
suggestions of perceptible effects of the 1977 Canadian gun control legislation".
The only positive effect, Mundt, found in the study was the decrease in the use

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Gun Control in Canada." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=68251>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Gun Control in Canada Essay

- Gun Control in Canada Gun Control is an important issue to Canadians. Canada has both provincial and federal legislation that restricts the sale, purchase, and use of different kinds of firearms. The United States, on the other hand, do not have federal or state bills restricting the possession or use of firearms, only local laws exist there. A firearm consists of any barreled weapon from which a shot, bullet or other missile can be fired and that is capable of causing serious bodily harm or death....   [tags: Research Papers]

Research Papers
2094 words (6 pages)

Gun Control in Canada Essay

- Part I:Introduction The issue of gun control and violence, both in Canada and the United States, is one that simply will not go away. If history is to be any guide, no matter what the resolution to the gun control debate is, it is probable that the arguments pro and con will be much the same as they always have been. In 1977, legislation was passed by the Canadian Parliament regulating long guns for the first time, restructuring the availability of firearms, and increasing a variety of penalties ....   [tags: Second Amendment The Right To Bear Arms]

Free Essays
2495 words (7.1 pages)

Gun Control in Canada Essay

-     There has been considerable debate recently in Canada over the issue of gun control. The Canadian parliament enacted the Firearms Act to enforce gun control by requiring gun owners to register their firearms. Just recently, the government of Alberta lead in a charge, including five other provinces and numerous pro-gun groups, complaining that the law is unconstitutional and intrudes on provincial jurisdiction. They also claim that the act infringes on property and civil rights that are guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays]

Research Papers
1406 words (4 pages)

Should Individual Citizens in Canada Be Able To Own Guns? Essay

- Should Individual Citizens in Canada Own Guns. Recently, there has been an issue in Canada on whether individual citizens can have their own handguns or not. Some believe that gun control is absolutely necessary to prevent people from becoming victims of gun crimes, while others maintain the exact opposite view. I agree with the latter, but I also think it is appropriate for the government to regulate the gun-dealing business. First of all, disarming the ordinary people punished the law-abiding citizens, secondly, no clear evidence links gun availability with gun violence, and lastly, with laws to rule the gun-dealing industry, it will not be a concern that people will be shot by a legal gun...   [tags: Individual Rights, Canadian, Gun Control]

Research Papers
662 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Gun Control Of The United States

- In the United States, mass shootings are on the rise as tensions increase worldwide. Most recently, there was a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California that killed fourteen and left almost twenty additional people injured. Since the assassination of Presidents Kennedy and especially after the attempted assassination of President Regan which severely wounding one of his press secretaries James Brady. After the incident, Brady became a rallying point in the 1990s to instate gun control in the United States....   [tags: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States, Gun]

Research Papers
2014 words (5.8 pages)

Essay about Gun Control And The United States

- Between the years 2000 and 2010, over 100,000 people in the United States died due to gun violence despite the fact that USA has very many laws on gun possession and use. A large number of victims who have sustained bullets wounds have been recorded even though some cases go unreported. Gun control is now a major issue in the United States due to the many cases of deaths and injuries in the last decade (Tamara p6). The issues has raised a lot of controversial debates the US, with a certain group of people against gun control while the other group in support of the control and regulation (O’Neil p3)....   [tags: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States]

Research Papers
1265 words (3.6 pages)

The Violence Of Gun Control Essay

- There is one reaction that is always to be expected after a mass shooting, and that is the call for an increase in control. This can be defined in numerous different ways, and can include a great deal of different aspects. People who call for an increase gun control in the wake of mass shootings are, in general, people who believe that more guns means more crimes. Gun control advocates cite studies that state, “Higher gun prevalence is associated with an increase in homicides, and suicides, and possibly even more residential burglaries” (Ludwig 17)....   [tags: Gun politics in the United States, Firearm]

Research Papers
1469 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Gun Control Around The World

- Gun Control Around The World Gun control is starting to become a huge topic around the world. With all of the mass shootings in the United States along with the crime rate towards the federal government, illegal animal killings in South America along with all the crime in Canada. The government is trying to lock down more on gun rights with preventing everyday citizens having access to guns that are military grade. I believe that if the governments start to step up and take control of who can get their hands on guns the crime rate can be reduced which will prevent random killings, crimes, and random use of guns....   [tags: Firearm, Gun politics in the United States]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Canada 's Current Gun Laws Essay

- Within this essay I write to you, I will be discussing my report on whether the gun control legislation in Canada is effective in protecting people, looking at gun control in other jurisdictions such as the United States of America. Also, I will be giving my opinion as to if I think Canada 's current gun law legislation should be changed and why or why not. Regarding the United States of America, “ the impact on criminal behavior patterns. One analysis of cross sectional time-series data for U.S counties found that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deterred violent crimes without increasing accidental deaths....   [tags: Firearm, Handgun, United States, Gun]

Research Papers
948 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Reducing Gun Violence

- Gun violence is a crucial predicament in North American society. The stringent fundamental laws put in place and enforced by the federal, provincial, and state governments of Canada and the United States of America are efficacious in dealing with fire arms and the violence that accompanies them. In essence the American system is flawed; hence the higher death rate due to gun violence in comparison with Canada. The American system is fallacious because of their adamant belief in the Second Amendment; which is not of cardinal significance in the 21st century America....   [tags: Gun Control]

Research Papers
973 words (2.8 pages)

Related Searches

of firearms in robbery with comparion to trends in the United States .
Informed law enforcement officers in Canada, as in the United States, view the
"impact of restricting the availability of firearms is more likely to impact on
those violent incidents that would not have happened had a weapon been at
hand"(152).
In an article by Gary A. Mauser of the Simon Fraser University in British
Columbia, he places special emphasis on the attitudes towards firearms displayed
by both Canadians and Americans. According to Mauser, large majorities of the
general public in both countries "support gun control legislation while
simultaneously believing that they have the right to own firearms" (Mauser
1990:573). Despite the similarities, there are apparent differences between the
general publics in the two countries. As Mauser states that "Canadians are more
deferent to authority and do not support the use of handguns in self defence to
the same extent as Americans".
As Mauser points out that "it has been argued that cultural differences
account for why Canada has stricter gun control legislation than the United
States"(575). Surprisingly enough, nationwide surveys in both Canada and the
United States "show remarkable similarity in the public attitude towards
firearms and gun control"(586). Both Canada and the United States were
originally English colonies, and both have historically had similar patterns of
immigration. Moreover, Canadians are exposed to American television (both
entertainment and news programming) and, Canadians and Americans read many of
the same books and magazines. As a result of this, the Canadian public has
adopted "much of the American culture" .

In an article by Catherine F. Sproule and Deborah J. Kennett of Trent
University, they looked at the use of firearms in Canadian homicides between the
years of 1972-1982. There findings firmly support the conclusion that gun
control is beneficial. According to Sproule and Kennett, gun control "may be
influencing some suspects to kill by other methods, but it is less likely for
these suspects to kill multiple victims". From the study conducted by Sproule
and Kennett the rate of violent crimes was five times greater in the U.S than
Canada, and "almost double the rate of firearm use in American than Canadian
homicides" (32-33). In short, the use of firearms "in Canadian homicides has
declined since the legislative changes in gun control in 1977".
As mentioned in lectures, Canadian cities have been traditionally safer, and
less vulnerable to 'Crime Waves' than our American neighbours due to our
extensive police force and gun control laws . A factor to be considered, though,
is our national heritage or culture which holds traditions of passiveness and
peace unlike the American Frontier heritage. From our textbook, Why Nothing
Works , Marvin Harris points out that the "American Constitution guarantees
citizens the right to bear arms, and this has made it possible for U.S.
criminals to obtain firearms more readily than their counterparts in countries
like Japan...". Marvin Harris indicates that "the high rate of homicide in the
United States undoubtedly reflects, to some extent, the estimated 50 million
handguns and rifles legally and illegally owned by the American people" (122).
As demonstrated in the film: Cops, Guns, and Drugs, the problem with controlling
urban violence in the United States is that it is out of proportion in contrast
to the available police force.
In his book, The Saturday Night Special , Robert Sherrill explains the cheap,
usually illegal, easily concealed handgun that plays a part in so many crimes in
the United States. He reviews the role of guns in American life --from the
shoot-outs of the Old West to the street violence of today. According to
Sherrill, "most murders occur in shabby neighbourhoods; of the 690 murders in
Detroit in 1971, for example, 575 occurred in the black slums mostly by
handguns". As a Detroit sociologist added to this alarming figure:"Living in a
frustrating stress-inducing environment like the United States every day of your
life makes many people walking powder kegs" (38). In agreement with this
statement, Sherrill suggests that the hardest hit of all American urban centres
is the inter-cities of Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, and Washington. These
cities largely consist of visible minorities who are frustrated with the hand
dealt to them, and simply resort to "drugs, guns, and violence" as a way of life
. As discussed in lecture, and viewed in the film: Cops, Guns, and Drugs, many
of the youth in the underclass who become involved in this way of life ,"are
considered to be old if they live past the age of 20" .
In another paper by Catherine F. Sproule and Deborah J. Kennett, they
compared the incidence of killings by handguns, firearms other than handguns,
and nonshooting methods between the United States and Canada for the years 1977
to 1983. In their study they found that "in Canada there were 443 handgun
killings per 100,000 people compared to 4108 in the U.S. over the period of
1977-1983" . They also noted that the "American murder rates for handguns are
higher than the total Canadian homicide rate"(249). According to Sproule and
Kennett, "Canada's favourable situation regarding murder relative to the United
States is to a large measure the result of Canadian gun control, and Canadians
must be vigilant against any erosion of our gun control provisions" (250).

B:Comparison:

The works cited above are based on research done by experts and scholars in
the field of gun control and violence. Examining the above materials can
identify similarities and differences found in the various cited sources, such
arguments for and against gun control policy in North America. It is clearly
evident to see that opponents of strict gun control will have similar arguments.
Firstly, they are usually defending each other against their opponents of the
issue, and they see the benefits as far more greater than the setbacks. The
introduction of the 1977 legislation by the Canadian government strongly
suggests that the country will benefit by having a safer society, and reduction
in crime. According to Robert J. Mundt, a benefit reaped by this legislation has
been a "trend away from the use of firearms in robberies has been noticeable
ever since the passage of the gun control provisions of the 1977 Bill C-51
(Criminal Law Amendment Act)". Mauser mentions that Canadians are "more
supportive of stricter controls on handguns than are Americans...Moreover,
Canadians appear to be less supportive of home owners using firearms to defend
themselves than are Americans" (Mauser:587). This evaluation by Mauser suggests
that Canadians do have confidence in gun control, and law enforcement in
controlling the safety of their well-being.
Similarities can also be cited in the works of Harris and Sherrill which
discuss the effects of having 'the right to bear arms' in the United States.
According to Marvin Harris, Why Nothing Works , there "has been a steady
increase in the availability of firearms since 1945, this may account for much
of the increase in the homicide rate" in the United States. Harris also suggests
that America has "developed a unique permanent racial underclass" which provide
conditions for both the motive and opportunity for violent criminal behaviour
(123). In Sherrill's book, The Saturday Night Special , a major topic of concern
is the status structure of the street gang in which "success in defense of the
turf brings deference and reputation...Here the successful exercise of violence
is a road to achievement". As Sherrill mentions, this violence is exercised by
the means of a gun that can be easily obtained in the United States due to the
easy accessibility of guns.
There are also some worthwhile differences found in the literature cited
above. For one, Sproule and Kennett , indicate that gun ownership in the United
States is "inversely related to individuals lack of confidence in collective
institutions to protect their security of person and property...". Robert
Sherrill believes that the vast majority of people who own guns , "simply own
them because it is a part of their American heritage, and the constitution gives
them 'the right to bear arms'"(1973:225). He suggests that Americans choose to
practice their civil liberties to its entirety.
Other notable differences in the literature is Mauser's view for the
differences in the gun-control legislation between the two countries. Mauser
states that the cause for this is "the differences in political elites and
institutions rather than in public opinion" (1990:587). Due to Canada's
political structure, it is a lot easier to make and approve laws in comparison
with the United States Congress structure.

Part III: Thesis Statement
After researching all the data collected from the library and the use of
course-related materials, I have formulated my own theory on the social impact
of gun control and violence in North America. Going back to the introduction, I
have asked the reader two questions :(1) Is it our right to bear arms as North
Americans? Or is it a privilege?, and (2) What are the benefits of having strict
gun control laws? It appears to me that much of the literature cited above looks
at gun control as being a feasible alternative in reducing homicides and armed
robbery. From the authors cited above, there findings undermine the apparent
claim of gun control opponents in their slogan `people kill, guns don't '. The
introduction of gun control in Canada significantly shows that Canadian gun
control, especially the provisions pertaining to handguns, does have the
beneficial effect of reducing violent crime, and saving lives. Part IV: Analysis
And Conclusions
When looking at the 1977 Canadian Legislation of gun control, it is easy to
see that there is some bias and assumptions present. For one, it assumes that
left to its own devices the legislation will make it virtually impossible for a
criminal to obtain a handgun. Secondly, there is an assumption that if a person
doesn't have a criminal record (it doesn't neccessarily mean that they are law-
abiding) then they are eligible to obtain a firearm with an FAC (firearms
Acquisition Certificate). With the implementation of Bill C-51, a `Black Market'
for illegal handguns has emerged from the United States into Canada, making it
extremely easy for the professional criminal to obtain a firearm.
It can be agreed that since the implementation of Bill C-51 in 1977, Canada
has remained relatively safe in incidents involving firearms in comparison to
the United States. The assumption of many Americans, is that having the right
to bear arms increases their security is open to dispute. It is just as
reasonable to assume that restricting the `right to bear arms' will increase the
safety and security of a society. In accordance with many sociologists beliefs,
is that Canada historically hasn't experienced the problems of crime, that the
United States has, because of it's central police force.

In addition, Sproule and Kennett view the significant effect of gun control
is the method of killing. Although "gun control may be influencing some suspects
to kill by other methods, it is less likely for these suspects to kill multiple
victims". As witnessed by the American media, mass murder in public is much more
a common occurrence in the U.S. than Canada. It is safe to say that gun control
has saved the lives of potential innocent victims of crime.
Furthermore, as was mentioned in class discussion and lectures, the strength
or influences of the mass media to glorify violence has had detrimental effects
on North American society. In some ways, the act of violence has been
desensitised and glorified rather than being displayed as an unacceptable form
of behaviour. This portrayal by the media, has made handguns and other firearms
seem fashionable in the eyes of our youth and general population in North
America. This unquestionably places our law enforcement agencies at a
considerable disadvantage, simply because it erodes the confidence and trust
displayed in them by the general public.
Presently, Canada does have the advantage of gun control unlike the U.S.
situation. We are now living in an environment that has seen dramatic increase
in violent crime, over a short period of time. Whether the United States adopts
a gun control policy similar to Canada's, remains to be seen. As for Canadians,
we must maintain confidence in the police and justice system to protect our
collective security as an important means by which to deter gun acquisition.

"Society must place limits on culture's appetites"
- Durkheim -
Return to 123HelpMe.com